Arthur Jerome Eddy

Being A Desultory Narrative Of A Trip Through New England, New York, Canada, And The West

by "Chauffeur" Arthur Jerome Eddy

1902

CALLING THE FERRY

Next morning, Sunday the 8th, we left the inn at eleven o'clock for Providence. It was a perfect morning, neither hot nor cold, sun bright, and the air stirring.

We took the narrow road almost opposite the entrance to the inn, climbed the hill, threaded the woods, and were soon travelling almost due south through Framingham, Holliston, Medway, Franklin, and West Wrentham towards Pawtucket.

To disarm criticism at the outset, the writer acknowledges a thousand imperfections in this discursive story. In all truth, it is a most garrulous and incoherent narrative. Like the automobile, part of the time the narrative moves, part of the time it does not; now it is in the road pursuing a straight course; then again it is in the ditch, or far afield, quite beyond control and out of reason. It is impossible to write coolly, calmly, logically, and coherently about the automobile; it is not a cool, calm, logical, or coherent beast, the exact reverse being true.

"BULLETINS FROM THE CHAMBER OF DEATH"

During these days the President was dying in Buffalo, though the country did not know it until Friday.

THE MADDING CROWD

Any woman can drive an electric automobile, any man can drive a steam, but neither man nor woman can drive a gasoline; it follows its own odorous will, and goes or goes not as it feels disposed.

UP THE HILL

It was Saturday, the 14th, at nine o'clock, when we left New York for Albany, following the route of the Endurance Contest.

The morning was bright and warm. The roads were perfect for miles. We passed Kings Bridge, Yonkers, Hastings, and Dobbs Ferry flying. At Tarrytown we dropped the chain. A link had parted. Pushing the machine under the shade of a tree, a half-hour was spent in replacing the chain and riveting in a new link. All the pins showed more or less wear, and a new chain should have been put on in New York, but none that would fit was to be had.

MAKING READY TO START

The machine was just an ordinary twelve hundred dollar single-cylinder American machine, with neither improvements nor attachments to especially strengthen it for a long tour; and it had seen constant service since January without any return to the shop for repairs.

HOME

We left Buffalo, Saturday the 20th, at four o'clock for St. Catharines. At the Bridge we were delayed a short time by customs formalities.

In going out of the States it is necessary to enter the machine for export and return, otherwise on coming in again the officials on our side will collect duty on its full value.

"IS THIS ROAD TO - "

The trip was not premeditated - it was not of malice aforethought; it was the outcome of an idle suggestion made one hot summer afternoon, and decided upon in the moment. Within the same half-hour a telegram was sent the Professor inviting him for a ride to Buffalo. Beyond that point there was no thought, - merely a nebulous notion that might take form if everything went well.

THE RAILROAD SPIKE

A five o'clock call, though quite in accordance with orders, was received with some resentment and responded to reluctantly, the Professor remarking that it seemed but fair to give the slow-going sun a reasonable start as against the automobile.

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